How I (almost) won my dorm’s Assassin game

May 15, 2017, 6:51 a.m.

If you’ve ever met me in person, you know I’m pretty short.  Although my driver’s license says five feet two inches, my doctor claims I have yet to reach that height.  

Besides an abnormally small stature, most people are surprised that I am older for my grade.  I’ve got a baby face, one that masks my centuries-old wisdom — on second thought, sometimes I’m as gullible as a kid, so we’ll balance it out with decades-old wisdom.  

How I (almost) won my dorm's Assassin game
(EMILY SCHMIDT/The Stanford Daily)

To put it simply, I look young but act old. This contrast is what allowed me to reach the top two players.

For those of you who’ve had your heads buried in the sand, Assassin is a live-action game where participants try to eliminate one another using mock weapons. In my dorm’s version, we used mini water guns.  Imagine the kind you’d get from Oriental Trading — cheap, prone to leakage, but satisfyingly effective.  

The rules are pretty simple.  You’re emailed your first target and have 24 hours to shoot the person.  However, you can’t shoot him or her in the head, nor can it be in the presence of a witness, meaning no one can see you “kill” your target.  Once you eliminate your first target, you receive your target’s target.   

At the beginning of last week, I received my first assignment.  My target was a person I knew would be difficult to not only find but shoot.  Before the game actually began, a potential ally came to me and offered to help.  

Rule #1 of Assassin: Trust your gut. If you think an ally could get you on the inside, go for it.  As long as you know you’re not his or her target, you have nothing to lose.  

Later that night, my ally led me to his “pack,” a group of guys taking Assassin way too seriously.  They’d made a spreadsheet of every person playing with his or her known assassin and target.  Lucky for me, I spied two blanks spots and was still under the radar.  

As a result, I pretended to tag along with the group and help the guys locate their own targets.  While traveling up a flight of stairs, I took the split-second opportunity to shoot my target square in the back.  No one saw it coming.

Rule #2 of Assassin: Use your underdog innocence to your advantage.  

I managed to eliminate two more targets within the hour.  Before I realized it, I was down to the final four from an initial 56 players. I faced a new challenge: My target knew who I was and wanted to make sure he’d never be alone. Constantly working in the dorm lounge surrounded by others, there was no way I’d be able to trick him into leaving that spot.  

With the help of my former ally and an RA, I managed to enter the lounge while inside a rolling suitcase. Again, I shot my target in the back through a hole in the zipper.  

Rule #3 of Assassin: Get creative (and take advantage of your short height).  

Despite hard fought efforts, my own assassin ultimately shot me fair and square.  I learned that water guns can’t shoot downwards and that closet shelves are not a good place to hide if you’re claustrophobic. Also, innocence and short legs can get you pretty far in life. It’s just gotta be the right race.  


Contact Emily Schmidt for more Assassin advice at egs1997 ‘at’

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